the 99 percent and the 1 percent

March 19th, 2019

I made a mental note of an article in The Atlantic (I think it was The Atlantic), one I didn’t read but could gauge the headline’s premise with the supposition that the details don’t matter — calling College Athletics a welfare program supporting the upper income classes.  Think about it: we know the assortment of people (and on scholarship) from “the hoods” and whatnot playing the high profile football and basketball — but what is the income base for a high school that has a water polo or rugby or equestrian sports program?
As it were, as a new college scandal pops up — a star of Full House representative of someone paying her offspring into college off of a phony academic sports record! —  I now wonder if the writer for the Atlantic (I think it was the Atlantic) wasn’t trying for a bigger story, but couldn’t quite get the goods.

they ring out

March 15th, 2019

“I’m full blown for Bernie.”
“I don’t understand how Bernie didn’t get in 2016.  He would have swamped Trump.”
“Well, the DNC is massively corrupt.”

Tads of revisionism history, and partisan history on the fly, that will seep into their personal political narrative and will be a little difficult to entangle, as parts of it are true — so as to overwhelm larger issues.  There’s a lot of that.  We will never be able to acknowledge, for instance, the political weaknesses and limitations of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 — except maybe Pat Buchanan.

Interestingly this runs counter to the Hillary Clinton hagiography and pure victim of our misogynistic culture… with no room for anything else.  (The election was PAMIWI… Eye on the ball…) But it is.  As is.

a new mediocrity, but we won’t arrive at any gender equity until we expect the female superheroes to be as medicore as the male superheroes

March 13th, 2019

I have no dog in the fight.  Either Marvel Studios — Disney — needs to get the balance of male to female superheroes closer to a 50 /50 equity, and there’s a huge fanbase of (this generation enlightened enough) males who want to see female superheroes and females who want to see female superheroes, or there isn’t and the bulk of superheroes movies should be a bunch of dudes and the argument for this supposition is your fossilized dad.  Either makes some kind of sense, even as we insert the history of the comic book industry and where the glut of the adolescent male audience reading .

What I’m trying to ponder is… when I sit in the middle not all that interested in this as a controversy, and hear the applause for the first supposition and don’t necessarily know if it’s true…

… and understand, if I listed my favorite comic book movies, floating about would be Ghost World and — probably as a lark,m though the movie a weird cult following established — Josie and the Pussycats, so I’m not lacking for female protagonists…

I just understand how the superhero genre came to be defined as what it has been — and suppose that a more gender balanced comic book industry might still have the superhero genre as a bunch of damnable dudes while, you know, other genres pop into being alongside it…

and have no idea if breaking the mold means anything for feminism.  (Even if I found the feminist backlash against the feminist frontlash — expressed in The Nation — on Wonder Woman highly amusing.)

And I thought Captian Marvel was a dude?  Shazam and all that…

When they get around to doing a new Buffy the Vampire movie, that should be categorized as “superhero”… and it may even measure well with a superhero team composed of more females then males.

a life digested

March 12th, 2019

I.  1932.  A nine year old Quaker boy from Rochester, New Hampshire stands with his parents in a cluster of fellow tourists at Buckingham Palace.  To everyone’s surprise and delight, the Royal Family — The Queen Mum, King George, and young Elizabeth II — stride across… an error in coordination and scheduling.  They stop and smile and wave at the cheering crowd.  All except for Elizabeth, who instead focuses a glare off at the puzzled looking Quaker boy.  She then lobs him a rhaspberry and mouths those immortal words “Neener Neener.”  The British Royals walk on, the crowd of tourists buzzing with excitement at the unexpected meeting.  While, meantime, the young Quaker boy from Rochester begins to nurse the sting from his royal snubbing.
1968:  While teaching a course of Marxist economics at the radical Free University of New York, Lyndon Larouche wanders in and off the campus of Columbia University — then in the midst of a student led shut down and revolt.  He poaches a group of leftist students turned off by the Weather Underground and various Maoist sects and enthused by his call to bring Marxism to Mars.  But it is all a ruse and subterfuge — for at the first opportunity, Larouche will drop the pretense of Marxist Martian relations and lead his young cadre to its real mission: a 50 year struggle to avenge the personal snubbing he experienced at the age of 9 by the Diabolical Queen of England.

II.  1938.  Lyndon Larouche tries out for high school choir.  The teachers advising give their listen, and then a prompt set of thumbs down.  “We’re afraid your pitch is just too flat.”
Stung by the rejection, Larouche rejects their recommendation for voice lessons and settles on the real reason for his rejection: the teachers have bought into the idea that C = 261.1, up from the proper designation of the 19th century concert hall of C=256.
2004:  Lyndon Larouche sends his latest groupings of youth onto college campuses — ostensibly with the selling point of offering information exposing Dick Cheney through the latest expose Children of Satan 3: The Sexual Congress of Cultural Fascism.  But this set up masks the real purpose: to expose the college aged contingent to Beethoven sang at the proper pitch of 256, and damned those high school music teachers.

III.  1965.  A neglectful Lyndon Larouche falls asleep while watching The Man From Uncle and leaving the stove on in the kitchen.  His walks in to see a small electrical fire.  Lyndon Larouche walks into the kitchen.  “What we have here,” he says as his wife douses the flames with baking soda and suggests Lyndon Larouche be more careful in the future, “is another one of those Reichstag Fires.”

IV.  1974.  Lyndon Larouche assembles his NCLC to alert them to revelations that he is the target of an assassination plot by a gaggle of Cuban Frogmen.  The Labor Committees get to work, to stem the atack — unaware of one small piece of misunderstanding.  For when they hear “Cuban Frogmen”, they think in terms of military seals — when what Larouche was referring to was an unfortunate encounter in Little Havana with three belligerent street performers dressed in cheap knock off Kermit the Frog costumes.

V.  1976.  Lyndon Larouche looks down at a stack of a couple hundred copies of his latest handbill — “Stop Nelson Rockefeller’s Drive to World War 3″.  One of his members of the NCLC walks in and says “Big News.  Ford is dropping Rockefeller from the ticket.”
“Good riddance to the Second Most Evil Man of the Planet, and another victory for the Labor Committees!”
“So.  Should we pulp all those handbills now?”
“Hm,” Lyndon Larouche muses.  “Give me an hour and I’ll figure this one out.”
An hour later, Lyndon Larouche walks into the room with a stash of papers he’d just printed off that read “Jimmy Carter” over and over again.
“All right,” Lyndon Larouche tells his aid.  “Here’s a pair of scissors.  Here’s some paste.  Get to work cutting and pasting ‘Jimmy Carter’ over ‘Nelson Rockefeller’ on all these handbills.”
“But.  That’s take forever.”
“Do you or do you not want to stop Jimmy Carter’s drive to World War 3? … And understand, the world war 3 Jimmy Carter is launching won’t just be a world war, it won’t just be a nuclear war, it will be a thermonuclear war.”

VI.  1985.  Still smarting from his third straight failed run at the US Presidency, Lyndon Larouche hatches a desperate plan.  Select an up and coming Hollywood talent marked as the “Next Big Thing”, kidnap him and threaten him until he relents to place pro-Larouche material into their next project.  So it is Lyndon Larouche poses as a taxi driver and hovers around an unlikely figure for his projected “Next Big Thing”:  a young alt weekly cartoonist by the name of Matt Groening.  And when Matt Groening finally hails Lyndon Larouche’s taxi, it takes a while to sense something amiss.  And just when Groeing senses things getting a little uncomfortable, Larouche turns back and flashes Groening a creepy Cheshire grin, and says “Don’t you know who I am?”
“Er… no,” Matt Groeing says.
“I’m Lyndon Larouche.  I just ran for president.  Didn’t you see my infomercial where I exposed Walter Mondale as a wholly owned agent of the KGB, Socialist International, and Swedish Grain Cartel?”
“I guess I missed that one?”
“Look.  I am going to swerve this car into that ravine right now unless I get a pledge from you right now — In your next Big Production — whatever that may be — you will place an unmistakable message that I, Lyndon Larouche, was right all along.”
“Uh –”
“Don’t think I’m bluffing!”
Matt Groening quickly capitulates, and without saying a word Lyndon Larouche drives Groening back and drops him off at his requested designation.
1996.  Having long forgotten about his encounter with Lyndon Larouche, Matt Groening receives an ominous reminder in the mail.  Letters cut out ransom style from a magazine, the note reads “We Had an agreement”, followed by a pasted news blurb on Larouche’s release from prison, then the notice “Do your duty or I’ll expose you as I did Bertrand Russell,” and then a headline cut from a Larouchie screed: “Bertrand Russell: The Most Evil Man of the 20th Century”.
Matt Groening calls Dan Castellaneta into the studio to insert one additional line into the year’s “Treehouse of Horrors” Simpsons episode — with Homer Simpson blurting out “Aliens!  Bio-duplication!  Nude Conspiracies!  Oh My God!  Lyndon Larouche was right!”, and he hopes that this is enough to appease the man.

VII.  1985.  “We think we have a real shot in elections in Illinois next year, with Mark and Janice gunning for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State.  But… you’re both going to have to change your last names.  See — the greatest advantage Janice has against her opponent would appear to be that her opponent’s name has an unwieldy 5 to 2 vowel to consonant ratio, and frankly we right now are not in a position to take advantage.”
“What do you think I should change my name to?” asked Janice Poopsherpants.
“We’re thinking… the asses voting will want … a monosyllabic name that speaks to the heart.  So… Hart.  You’ll be Janice Hart.  As for you, Mark…”
“Yes?” said Mark Genghiskan.
“I think ‘Mark Fairchild’ will drive the greatest contrast against the candidate you’re opposing.”
“Who’s that?”
“George Satanchild.”

VIII.  1992.  A prison doctor suggests to Lyndon Larouche the advisability of removing some anal polyps.  “Is that all right?” he asks.
Lyndon Larouche stares at the doctor.  “Sure.  But only if you pass my rigorous screening process.  You understand, I am a man with many enemies.”
“Okay?”
“I’m going to ask a series of questions that will show your intentions.  Question #1: What do you know about Nicholas of Cusa?”
“Uh… nothing?”
“Ah hah!  That’s exactly what the Knights Templar, the enemies of Nicholas of Cusa, currently residing in the halls of the Keplerian faction of the Leesburg Garden Club– are trained to say.  Sorry.  But I cannot and will not allow you to poke your Agent Orange or whatever dynamite you’ve concocted into my anus.  My anal polyps remain.  Not only that, but I’m going to expose your plot to all the world like I did the assassination attempt from Castro’s Kermit Crew!”

IX.  2008.  Lyndon Larouche lectures before his “Larouche Youth Movement” cadre school.  He has written on the chalkboard a long list of names of “Great Leaders” and Statesmen in history, Promethean Souls who Transcended Humanity.
“One of the things a great deal of these Great Immortal Souls has in common,” Lyndon Larouche says to his young cadre, “is that — particularly toward the end of life — they had the companionship of a younger mistress.”
“Um,” one of the Larouche Youth cadres says.  “That’s the third time you’ve offered that observation.  Is there something you’re getting at?”
“Just recording the mutual benefits of a relationship which has historically advanced human history and culture against the sea of dionysian malthusian darkness.”
“Kind of an Anna Nicole Smith deal?”
“Psst.  Ix-nay on the Op-pay ulture-cay.  You don’t want to align with the Aristotlean Beastmen, do you?”
“In the right circumstances, you’ll find I can be an Aristotlean Beastman,” Larouche says.
The whole of the Larouche Youth cadre cringe in unison.
“Anyway, if you need some one on one with me, I’ll be in the office… … I mean, to discuss Beethoven or whatever… … …. Hegel’s cool with it…. … sigh.”
And the door slams.  Robert Beltran walks in from the side, wondering if he should shuttle “Romeo and Juliet” in favor of King Lear.

X.  2009.  It was not widely known, but Lyndon Larouche had a minor ownership share in the Boston furniture store ‘Leatherstocking Upholsteries”.   So he checked in to his majority owner partner and asked, “How’s business been?”
“Oh.  Great.  Except for one thing…”
“What’s that?” Lyndon Larouche asked.
“Well.  We have this massive back stock of dining room tables.  We need to get rid of these dining room tables.  If only we could get it into people’s minds, the purchasing of dining room tables… even subliminally.”
“You know,” said Lyndon Larouche.  “I think I have an idea!”
Lyndon Larouche then called up his old friend, Congressman Barney Frank.
“Hey!” said Barney Frank.  “Been a while.  You know, I really owe you one for how you relieved the media spotlight on me during my sordid sex related scandal by running that wacky candidate of yours against me.”
“Yeah, well” Lyndon Larouche said.  “I’ calling in the favor right now.  So, at your next town hall, I will have one of my followerers waving one of my ‘Obama with Hitler mustache’ things at you and denouncing the ACA as Hitler’s Health Care Policy…”
“Still going back to the oldies, huh?”
“I need you to insult her –”
“Sounds easy!”
“– By referring to her as a ‘dining room table’.”
“But.  That doesn’t make any sense.”
“It is imperative that you refer to her as a dining room table.”
“But.  Can’t I think of something more … witty?”
“No.  It must be ‘dining room table’.”
“But –”
“Do this.  Or I’ll expose you like I did Bertrand Russell.”

XI.  2014.  Lyndon Larouche flips through a thousand copies of his latest handbill — “Pass Glass Steagall Now Or Thermonuclear War in March.”
“Yeeowtch!” he yells.
His wife rushes in.  “What’s wrong, dear?”
“Quick.  Get me a band aid.  It seems I have on my hands another one of those… Reichstag Paper cuts.”

XII.  2016.  Lyndon Larouche sits in Moscow with two emissaries of the Russian government.
“So let me see if I understand this,” Lyndon Larouche says.  “You want us — basically a kind of reprise of a conspiracy theory we ran in the early 90s with George Bush and a pedophile ring out of Nebraska — to claim a pedophile ring is based at a Virginia pizza parlor?”
“No.” The Russian agent says.  “We’re asking you to refrain from this story.  Because if you did this story — the paranoid fringe will dismiss it with a ‘Oh, that’s Lyndon Larouche.’  We’ll be passing that sotry on to someone with more credibility — Alex Jones.”
“Huh.  Okay.  And if we do as you suggest — and don’t report on this pizza parlor pedophile ring.  What’s in it for us?”
“Well.  When the times comes.  If and when a President Trump crosses us in NATO policy or the Crimean.  We will give you first dibs on… video footage of Donald Trump getting urinated on.”
“Uh –” Lyndon Larouche says.  It is the last phrase he would ever utter.

not running list

March 6th, 2019

Jeff Merkley is out.

Mike Bloomberg is out.

I suppose Merkley looked at the calculus and saw… uh… Oregon is out there, ain’t it?  Don’t those people live in old wood trees?  I want to cut down some of the trees, dagnabit!

Bloomberg looked at the political calculus and saw..,. uh… New York City is way too in there, ain’t it?  And we must not radicalize anything!

Also I want to drink my damned soda pop, dagnabit!

the messages don’t make sense.

March 4th, 2019

The messages that the activist who slots crap into the free boxes (alt weeklies and the like) …

… are getting more obscure and opaque.  Tell me if you can can reassemble this message into coherence.

PICK YOUR TEAM
RUSSIAN REPUBLICAN
CAPITALIST PREDATOR
HOME GROWN JINGO
How do you want to be remembered?
Where’s Washington and Lincoln?

I don’t know what any of this means.  I suppose the problem is someone called them out for fat-shaming the President, so now they can’t quite find any good insult.

deep state redux

February 25th, 2019

I can’t quite catch a term, but it’s a term that seems important to … know.

“I keep hearing from Bernie Sanders supporters who say he can’t lose.  Like, they’re…”
“naive?”
“Not that.”
“[  term of some sort ]”  — something with “dogging” it at the end of the phrase…
“Yeah.  Like.  Way too hopeful here.”

“Not even popularity.  It’s the electoral system and… they won’t allow it.  It’s naive to think they would.  I mean.  You know Chile.  Venezuela.”

Why not mention JFK while they’re at it?

a nuisance law suit comes out of this… probably to make a political point, i guess

February 23rd, 2019

The dealings of the “Covington Kid”…

He’s at a “pro life” anti abortion march…

I don’t know the details, really — I guess I need to watch ALL THE VIDEOS, but the brohauhau depresses me in that it is a brohauhau.  There’s not much there.  A kid in a MAGA Hat.  Recently scoped out the wackiness of the Black Israelites, which is a good thing to scope out — though, not altogether easy to follow…

They are more anti-homosexual than the conservative Catholic kids, though.

Watching this (I guess selectively edited, but if you want to find me the other side of selectively edited, lay it on me)… there’s the insults being tossed around, and no not all the ones from the Catholic are purified pc, but it is tit for tat.  (The “It’s not rape if you don’t enjoy it” is immediately responded with a “He does not go to Covington!” and the shocked (somewhat in good fun) face of a young girl who I suppose might.)

The problem, I guess… is that their school chant — which they bring out because they want to do something productive in waiting for the buses and tiring of the game with the Black Israelites…

And, I suppose we’re in the eye of a beholder.  The native American’s perspective on “what is going on” in the scene is disgustingly misguided.  Disturbingly so.  We’re stuck on a… MAGA = kkk… the end.  And the kid apparently smiles a little weirdly … after he walked into all of them…

drumming… as they participated in (regretably) a mock Indian salute…

And their conservative cause, anti-abortion — is beyond the pale.  And there’s a lot of them, and only a few of those…

wacky black israelites with an entertaining, if stupid, message.

And, the kids were all morons for throwing out the Tomahawk chop.  I suppose that’s the one thing that they might have to talk about — if he wants to.  I guess this is what I’m supposed to be putting everything on with the third panel of this comic strip (and why I’m stuck going back to this)– “they did mock them”, cut to the white dude shutting her up.  Because… feel free to offer up your selective clip to counter this one, but… I don’t see much.

I was pondering when the hell I’d seen something like the brohauhua of this sort in the past, and I remembered… in the early days of the Obama Administration, there was a fight that broke up in the back of s school bus.  It had a racial dimension in that the bully was black.  And the next thing we heard was Rush Limbaugh and the Fox echo chamber going off on “This is the new America” under Barack Obama.

Because.,.. um?  Nitwittery.

It was a goddamned fight on the back of a school bus.  I’ve seen those.  I don’t know if new technology would have brought the fights I’d seen on the back of the school bus to national notice.

The question that’s disturbing me in the current era… how many, what percentage, across the chasm of the “political divide”… can defend someone “over there” without somehow being viewed as being “over there”?